14 Lessons From Karbala


In one of his speeches, Imam Hussein (AS) said that the authorities in Kufa had given  him only two options – humiliation or death. He carried on to say  ‘And we do not  accept humiliation’.  A tradition reported by Imam Sadiq (AS) records that, other than not accepting humiliation, Allah Almighty has given to believers a choice in all matters.

Few people desire death. The Holy Quran challenges the Jews for not welcoming death in view of their alleged special relationship with Allah (SWT) Imam Hussein(AS) extended our comprehension of death by drawing attention to the three points below:

  • Death is written for everyone and no soul may escape it. He said: Death is an adornment of life as a necklace is an adornment of a beautiful woman.

  • Death with dignity is preferable to a life lived in humiliation.

  • Dying for the cause of Islam is martyrdom and a great honour. In his farewell to relatives in Madina, Imam Hussein (AS) said: "Whoever joins us will be martyred, those who remain behind will miss the victory."

    Imam Hussein(AS) announced: ‘Don’t you see that Truth has been replaced by falsehood. We must be prepared to sacrifice everything that is precious in support of Truth!’ Truth is the essence of Islam and fortifies the values emphasized in the Holy Quran. Hazrat Ali Akbar asked his father Imam Hussein (AS). "Are we not supporting the Truth?" Imam (AS) replied in the affirmative Hazrat Ali Akbar (AS) said: "Then, it makes no difference if death comes to us or if we approach death."

    Fidelity is a characteristic admired by all. If friends meet in times of comfort and wealth but leave when hardship and difficulty strike, it is clear that their friendship is not true. On the day of Ashura, Imam Hussein (AS) told John, a servant of the renowned companion Hazrat Abu Dhar (AS) You have accompanied us all the way but now you may go. John replied: It is not fair that I benefit from your company and hospitality but abandon you in your hardship? His attitude exemplifies fidelity, loyalty and true friendship.

    The objective of all believers should be the pleasure of Allah Almighty. Imam Hussein (AS) said in one of his speeches that the only objective of the Prophet’s household is to please Allah.

    Allah tells us in the Holy Quran that only those who remain patient will receive reward without measure. Imam Hussein(AS) brought up to understand the Quran that is why he was happy to remain patience in hardship and endurance and to await his Lords reward. His patience wasn’t out of weakness or helplessness but a demonstration of his steadfastness and bravery. Those who saw Imam Hussein(AS) on the Day of Ashura reported: We have never seen a man remaining as composed as Imam Hussein a.s. whereas his relatives and children were slaughtered before his eyes.

    Imam Hussein(AS) tried to stop Umar ibn Saâd from pursuing his evil objectives. He said to him: You are promised government of Ray (Tehran today) yet you will never eat the wheat of that area. Ibn Saad responded: Its barley will suffice!! Realizing that he couldn’t change Ibn Saâds mind, Imam Hussein (AS) said: Those who use unlawful means to achieve their objectives never attain them.